Apr 082013

I love coffee and I drink it everyday. On Thursday April fourth I volunteered at Athens’ Own. It was really fun because they package their products at ACEnet, the community kitchen and office location on Columbus Road. I was able to see many of the wonderful community members that enhance the sustainability practices and knowledge in Athens everyday. I received free potato seeds and garlic from Community Food Initiatives on that day. I learned that Athens’ Own is not just a business, Constantine Faller and his team are working to actualize a vision of resiliency. While you are enjoying your cup of Dawn Chorus Coffee you are supporting ethical economic choices. Constantine Faller, owner of Athens’ Own, orders coffee that is certified by the Café Feminino organization which ensures living wage jobs and works to create education and better living conditions for women in coffee countries such as Peru. Dawn Chorus Coffee is fair trade, organic, shade grown, and the coffee is roasted in Athens County. The boxes and equipment used in the production process are up-cycled or re-purposed. The packaging of the coffee is done at the community kitchen in Athens, Ohio known as the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks and is made of compostable material that has been recycled. Therefore the purchase of Dawn Chorus Coffee is a small action that reinforces a larger vision of holistic management.

Historically women in South America are limited to working in the household/farm and are married between the ages of 12-16. Currently due to the network of businesses supporting the work of Café Feminino, one thousand women are sharing experiences that increase their self-esteem, leadership qualities, and security while working outside of their homes. They are coffee farmers preparing the terrain and the nurseries. They compost fertilizer, prepare bio-fertilizers, harvest, de-pulp, ferment, and dry the coffee. They also sell the coffee and have the privilege of deciding how the money is used. This is a rare accomplishment! Two cents per pound above fair trade price is paid to the US Importer of Café Femenino to pay for the income and education of these working women producers.

Athens County is documented as being one of the poorest counties in the nation, yet many people of Athens have learned that the meaning of wealth is found in the strengths of a community, holistic education, Biomimicry, energy that is ecologically and economically sustainable, clean water and air, healthy food, bike paths, community gardens, seed sharing and public parks. The local business owners, farmers, distributers and workers support one another in Athens which is the true standard of wealth. The focus of Athens’ Own is community resilience, sustainability, teamwork, education, and local food. Holistic Management is the vision that Constantine Faller is working to expand. Coffee is a common beverage yet how the coffee bean is grown and who it benefits from its sale is not always a common consideration. Luckily Constantine Faller has created the opportunity for the consumer to make a mindful choice. A drop of Dawn Chorus Coffee in your cup creates ripples of resiliency. Constantine is impeccable with his word, clear eyed, strong willed and ready for a challenge. I feel fortunate to have met him and his team and look forward to learning and sharing more about Athens’ Own in the near future.

Dawn Chorus Coffee is served in Athens, Ohio at Salaam Restaurant, Bagel Street Deli, Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, The Union Bar and Grill, 9 Tables, Columbus Road Diner and Burgers.

It can be purchased at the Athens Farmers Market, Seaman’s Grocery Store, Hyacinth Bean, Village Bakery, Dale’s B.P., Amesville Manna House General Store, Poston’s Carry-Out in Stewart, Ohio and Sharpsburg Gilchrist B.P.